A unified EV charging standard in the making

26th April 2017
Lanna Cooper


Electric cars, as Mercedes-Benz Chief Dieter Zetsche puts it, need both convincing vehicles and a comprehensive charging infrastructure. Now, a robust charging network is taking shape in order to galvanise the mass consumer adoption of Electric Vehicles (EVs).

There used to be three standards for off-board AC/DC charging a.k.a. DC fast charge: CHAdeMO, Combined Charging System (CCS), and Tesla Supercharger. Then in February 2016, Tesla joined the Charging Interface Initiative E.V. (CharIN), a consortium that spearheads the development of CCS infrastructure for electric driving.

And now top chipmakers like Infineon, STMicro and Texas Instruments (TI) are providing another seal of approval for the CCS standard by joining the CharIN camp. Apparently, the CHAdeMO standard for DC fast charging is quickly losing steam despite its early-mover advantage.

A case in point is the joint undertaking of Audi, BMW, Ford, Mercedes, Porsche, and Volkswagen that is starting to deploy 400 CCS-based charging stations across Europe this year.

The CCS technology - standardised according to IEC 62196-3 and SAE J1772 specifications - delivers high-voltage DC charge via connector geometries of type 1 for the US and type 2 for Europe.

Phoenix Contact is now offering AC and DC charging connectors for CCS vehicle-inlets that support overnight AC charging in the garage and fast DC charging at EV service areas. And now that large chip suppliers and car OEMs are supporting a single standard, expect more chips and design solutions for the EV charging infrastructure in 2017.

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